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Genetics is the study of genes, heredity and variation in living organisms. It is concerned with the process of trait inheritance from parents to offspring. Given that all living organisms have genes; this study can be applied to almost any system containing living organisms.  This modern science that we know today as genetics was founded by Gregor Mendel in the mid-19th century, who we usually refer to as the ‘Father of Genetics.’

In his studies, Mendel discovered that organisms can inherit traits from their parents through as he called them ‘discrete units of inheritance,’ which we now know today as a gene. With the use of modern analytical techniques, we know that a gene is a subunit of DNA which codes for a cellular function – for example, it can code for a certain protein such as an enzyme. DNA itself is made up of nucleotides, which are transcripted and translated by the cell’s machinery to form a chain of amino acids. The order of amino acids corresponds to the order of the genes; and thus the relationship between these two is referred to the genetic code – as our DNA codes for our cellular function.  

However, not all genes are the same, mutations will always introduce variations into the genetic codes. Two homologous genes may not be identical, but may still code for the same protein. These are known as alleles. A mutation can also change the protein it codes for by changing the amino acid sequence that is generated. Thereby, it changes the function and it could potentially make the protein ineffective.

Thus, it can be seen that genetics can be examined from a macroscopic level where genetics play a role in behavior and appearance, or from a microscopic level where genetics play a role in the protein that gets produced. Thus, understanding genetics is important for understanding not only biology, but also human behavior.

Categories within Genetics

Phylum Arthropoda

The Earth's largest phylum is Arthropoda, including centipedes, millipedes, crustaceans, and insects. The insects have shown to be a particularly successful class within the phylum. What biological characteristics have contributed to the success of insects? In many science fiction scenarios, post-apocalyptic Earth is mainly popu

Risk Factors of Different Cancers

1. Genetics, lifestyle, and environmental influences are all thought to influence the occurrence, worsening, and treatment of cancer. Which factor do you think has the biggest influence? Find an article to support your position. 2. Would your answer to the previous question vary based on the type of cancer (e.g. genetics is

Gene Interaction For Coat Color

In rats, the following genotypes of two independently assorting autosomal genes determine coat color. For the following cross, what fraction of the offspring would you expect to have each genotype? AAbbCC x aaBBcc A_B_C- gray A_B_cc albino A_bbC_ yellow A_bbcc albino aaB_C_ Black aaB_cc albino aabbC_ cream aabbcc alb

Bio-remediation for Ocean Life

View these resources to complete this assignment: Scientific American Instant Egghead Video: Can Microbes clean Up Our Oily Mess? Interview with Professor Barbara Block on BBC News:

Genetics and Personalized Medicine

Explore the new era of personalized medicine that uses genetic mapping to determine medical treatment. Watch the NOVA video: Cracking Your Genetic Code to learn more about the genetic technology available to us and what it means for medicine, ethics, and the future of human society. After watching this video, proceed to the f

Genetics: Multiple Choice Questions

Some questions are easier than others but I would like to double check they are right please. Would appreciate if someone could help, I need to submit this by Monday. 1. Eye color is an X-linked gene and red is dominant to white in Drosophila. If I mate a red eyes male with a white eyes female and I mate a white eyed male

Discussing Gene Therapy

The overall goal of gene therapy is to restore normal function in cells that are affected by genetic disorders. How does gene therapy work? What are the challenges of gene therapy? Research the stories of Ashanti de Silva and Jesse Gelsinger. Based on the outcomes of these treatments, do you think experimental gene therap

Complex Causes of Cancer

Cancer is a very complex disease having many causes. What are some of these causes of cancer? Although tobacco smoking is responsible for a large number of human cancers, not all smokers develop cancer. Why is this? Pick a specific tumor suppressor gene or oncogene and explain how this gene can lead to or prevent cance

Hershey and Chase Experiment

How might 32P and 35S be used to demonstrate that the transforming principle is DNA? Briefly outline an experiment that would show that DNA rather than protein is the transforming principle.

Telomere and Aging

Why do cells have telomeres? Why do telomeres get shorter every time a cell divides? What counteracts this shortening? What role do telomeres play in aging? You may want to do some research into dyskeratosis congenita. If telomerase makes cancer cells immortal, could it prevent normal cells from aging? Do you think

DNA mutation sequences and how they impact DNA replication

1. What is the mutation, how does this mutation impact DNA replication? 2. How was the relationship between the mutation and the disease discovered? 3. What are the symptoms of the disease? 4. How does the problem in DNA replication lead to the symptoms of the disease (a discussion of transcription and/or translation may be a


Genetics 1. A diploid cell contains three pairs of homologous chromosomes designated C1 and C2, M1 and M2, and S1 and S2. No crossing over occurs. a. What combination(s) of chromosomes are possible in daughter cells following mitosis? b. What combination(s) of chromosomes are possible in haploid cells following both

Aneuploidy and Down Syndrome

Organisms vary widely in the number of chromosomes per cell. The ant, Myrmecia pilosula, has only two chromosomes (one pair) per cell. By contrast, the fern, Ophioglossum, has up to 1260 chromosomes (630 pairs) per cell. This variation among organisms seems to be unrelated to how complex those species are. The precise chromosome

What would you do

If you knew that an untreatable, devastating, late-onset, inherited disease runs in your family, in other words, a disease that does not appear until after age 40, and you could be tested for it at age 20, would you want to know whether you will develop the disease? Would your answer be likely to change when you reach age 40?

Blood Types and Alleles

What blood type(s) can a child born to a mother with B- blood type and a father with A+ blood type have? Explain your answer fully. Be sure to focus on the concepts of dominant and recessive alleles, multiple alleles, and codominance in your explanation. Are there any special concerns this mother should consider? How do

The Effects of Prophase Inhibition

in the Prophase what happens when problems occurs with this phase? Does mitosis proceed normally, if not were in mitosis do problems occur and what could be the out come of the cell? What would be the impact of the body as a whole if this happens (problems with the cells)?

Genetic Makeup Effects

Please help answering the following problem: I need some help in describing some of the ways in which our own genetic makeup affects us as a person?

Indirect Transcription Factor Activation

What exactly are SMAD transcription factors and how do they regulate transcription? (can you please outline their involvement in the pathway in a simply manner which I can then use as a basis for my essay. Thank you!

Nature versus Nurture and the Creation of Proteins

Dear OTA, Can you please explain the age old "Nature vs. Nurture theory? How do we get from the 4 letter code (DNA) to the 20 letter code (proteins)? Any Insight most welcome! Best regards, Future "someone" (hopefully)

DNA Replication Models

After Watson and Crick proposed the double helix structure for DNA, three models for DNA replication were proposed: conservative, semiconservative, and dispersive. In the conservative model, the first replication produces one daughter molecule containing both parental strands and another containing all new strands. In the semico

Principles of Genetics

ANGLIA RUSKIN UNIVERSITY DEPARTMENT OF LIFE SCIENCES Principles of Genetics MOD002804 Assessment 2 Part A: Questions from the Drosophila melanogaster cross practical 1) Present the results of the Drosophila cross in a suitable format. Include your results and class results. (5) 2) Explain why a reciprocal cross mig

Frequency of offspring for X linked dominant trait

5. State the distribution (in terms of expected percentages) of eye color among the male and female offspring derived from each of the following crosses considering the following: In the fruit fly, red eye color "R" is dominant over white eye color "r"; and the gene for eye color is on the X chromosome. a. White-eyed fema

Punnett squares

a. In guinea pigs, black coat color (B) is dominant over white coat color (b). When a true breeding black guinea pig is crossed to a true breeding white guinea pig, what is the probability that their progeny will be black? Explain. b. If two heterozygous black guinea pigs are crossed, what fraction of their progeny will be b

Recumbant frequency values

Explain why large recombination frequency values are less accurate measures of map distance than smaller ones

Chi-squared test for HW equilibrium

The MN blood group in humans is under the control of a pair of codominant alleles, LM and LN. In a group of 556 individuals, the following genotypic frequencies are found: 167 MM 280 MN 109 NN (a) Calculate the frequency of the LM and LN alleles. (b) Test (using the Chi-squared test) whether the genotype frequencies

Transmission of Genetic Material

If you were asked to get a genetic test panel performed, which diseases or health risks would you be interested in learning about and why? Describe the biochemical composition, structure, and replication of DNA. Detail the role of specific RNA's in the process of protein transcription and translation. Describe, in detail